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Security Council Press Statement on Afghanistan

UN Security Council Press Statement on targeted attacks against civilians in Afghanistan, 12 March 2021.

The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the alarming number of attacks deliberately targeting civilians in Afghanistan. These heinous attacks have targeted civil servants, the judiciary, the media, healthcare and humanitarian workers, including women in prominent positions, those who protect and promote human rights, and ethnic and religious minorities.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims, and they wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.

The members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern regarding the increase of these targeted attacks in the months following the start of the Afghanistan peace negotiations on 12 September 2020. The members of the Security Council recognized that a sustainable peace can be achieved only through a comprehensive and inclusive Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace process that aims at a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, as well as an inclusive political settlement to end the conflict in Afghanistan. They stressed the need for full, equal and meaningful participation of women in this regard. The members of the Security Council strongly encouraged parties to the negotiations to pursue confidence-building measures, including reductions in violence, and to continue to engage in good faith.

The members of the Security Council called for an immediate end to these targeted attacks and stressed the urgent and imperative need to bring the perpetrators to justice. The members of the Security Council recalled that all parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law in all circumstances, including those related to the protection of civilians. They underlined that deliberate attacks targeting civilians may constitute war crimes.

The members of the Security Council also expressed their deep concerns about the threat posed by terrorism to Afghanistan and the region.